NFL signs new deal with Wembley Stadium

Published: Thursday 22nd October 2015 by The News Editor

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The NFL has renewed its commitment to Wembley stadium with a new five-year deal which will see at least two regular-season games a year played under the arch until 2020.

Earlier this year, the NFL announced a 10-year commitment to play at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium from 2018 onwards, but that has not signalled the end for Wembley, which has hosted games since 2007 and will see its 13th regular-season contest on Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars play the Buffalo Bills.

The Jags, who were in the third year of a four-year deal to play one ‘home’ game per year in the capital, have committed to keep coming each year throughout the new agreement.

“This new agreement extends a very successful, long-term relationship,” said NFL executive vice president of international Mark Waller. “It is very exciting to be making this announcement in the same week that we will reach one million fans for the International Series in London.

“These agreements reiterate the NFL’s commitment to the UK, with two stadium deals running concurrently. To be playing in Wembley, the national stadium, and at Tottenham, in what will be London’s newest stadium, is fantastic. We are very appreciative of the Jaguars extending their commitment to the UK market, which emphasizes the club’s and league’s strong ambition to continue to grow the fan base for NFL football beyond the borders of the United States.”

For the second successive year, Wembley is hosting three games this season. Earlier this month the New York Jets beat the Miami Dolphins 27-14 before a crowd of 83,986, while the Detroit Lions will face the Kansas City Chiefs in November.

The new deal means that, from 2018 to 2020, the NFL has committed to playing at least four games in London as it continues to explore the possibility of one day basing a franchise in the city.

The Jaguars are yet to taste victory in their adopted second home – and are tipped to lose again on Sunday – but that has not dampened the enthusiasm of owner Shad Khan, the Pakistani-American businessman who also owns Fulham.

“Our four-year London initiative has been every bit as rewarding as we anticipated, certainly in large part to the league’s commitment to the UK and the world class experience that Wembley Stadium has provided the Jaguars, our fans and our partners,” Khan said.

“Our interest in extending our agreement to play a home game each season in London is nothing new. So, we’re very happy to make it official today. This is great news for the Jaguars and the stability of the team in Jacksonville, which has come to embrace London as our home away from home.”

The NFL has an option to extend the new deal with Wembley until 2025.

Published: Thursday 22nd October 2015 by The News Editor

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